girl playing trumpet with teacher

Professional Development Tips for Music Teachers

When you think about the makings of a great music teacher, what qualities come to mind? You may picture a colleague or former mentor who went above and beyond and left a lasting impression on you, but what exactly sets them apart?

Aside from loving music itself, the best music teachers possess many traits that help them educate and inspire their students. They carry a positive attitude to encourage students and make learning fun. They actively listen to their students’ playing and concerns to help address any issues. They set realistic goals for students and help them reach them. And perhaps most importantly, the best kind of music teacher has a desire to learn and take steps towards professional development to constantly improve their practices.

Why Professional Development Makes You a Better Teacher

One of the first rules of being a great music teacher is to stay 100% relevant in your field. This involves learning new skills and developing the latest strategies to ensure your teaching methods remain fully effective and productive, regardless of the type of demographic or age group you teach. 

Creating your own professional development plan makes you a better leader and well-versed in understanding and managing your class. It also helps infuse the mindset of “constant growth” in you, making it easier to instill it in the minds of your students.

Regardless of the type of specialized professional development programs you embark on, you’re sure to learn creative ways to keep your students fully engaged and productive during lessons by making their classes more exciting, interesting, and fun. Teachers who have journeyed through professional development also have better insights into tracking the progress of their students. By making your students more aware of their progress with absolute clarity, you become successful in building solid discipline among your students. 

How should you improve your skills as a music teacher?

With each passing year, the needs of music students evolve and as a result, your teaching methods must evolve with them! Being a next-generation music teacher goes beyond just knowing how to play an instrument, it demands a large-scale improvement of your existing skills. Here are a few ways to help meet modern music students’ needs and craft productive, engaging, and fun lessons:

  • Use the gift of technology as much as you can! With the advancement of technology, you can expect most of your students (especially the young ones) to be tech-savvy. Involve tech they’re familiar with, like a tablet to read sheet music, for instance, to make lessons easier and more productive. Also, don’t hesitate to tap into online music teaching opportunities
  • Craft lesson plans that will excite both you and your students, so every class enjoys the highest possible productivity and engagement.
  • Keep your lessons as flexible as possible. You don’t always have to stick to your plan. Sometimes, going with the flow can uncover magical things!
  • Keep things fun by using a variety of teaching methods and resources to introduce and review subjects.
  • Never stop learning!

Creating Your Own Music Teacher Professional Development Plan

Part of becoming a great music teacher is staying on top of the best practices for , music teachers. This is where the need for professional development comes in. Here are a few types of professional development programs to help you become a better teacher:

Specialized Training Programs

These are a goldmine for gaining in-depth knowledge about the best possible teaching methods that are relevant in today’s classrooms.

Graduate Classes

This is where you work towards getting degrees that can potentially offer pay increases and improve your teaching skills.


While workshops don’t go as deep as specialized training programs, they still uncover many elements you might previously be unaware of. 


This is where you witness the best-known presenters, network with other music teachers, and explore the best current industry practices.

Online Training Programs

This is one of the most affordable and convenient ways to upgrade your teaching skills. 

What to Look for in Professional Development Opportunities

Now that you know some of the main professional development methods, it’s time to decide which are right for you. Each event will have its own focus and theme, so it’s important to determine what areas of development you want to address first on your development journey. There are five important areas of focus to help you determine which opportunities are right for you:

Deploying Flexible Teaching Methods and Innovative Instructional Designs

It can benefit your students to overcome the habit of repeating similar activities every lesson. Focusing on this area should help you think of ways and activities to ensure your students engage in and retain everything they learn.

Encouraging and Nurturing Creative Thinking Among Students

Creative students start with a creative teacher. Focusing on this area can help you get creative with crafting your curriculum and giving your lessons. This, in turn, can help your students stay engaged and become more creative themselves.

Deploying Technology for Better Learning Outcomes

Through professional development, you can learn to embrace technology to make your lessons more effective. Meet modern students in the middle with modern methods like online classes, resources and worksheets.

Building Musical Versatility

To enable your learners to become better performers, it’s important to help them learn flexible musicianship which involves dabbling in all skills such as composing, listening, improvising, and more. 

Becoming a Member of Different Music Communities

To pave your path for continuous learning, professional development should also encourage you to become a part of musical communities where teachers and experts from diverse backgrounds share valuable insights and practices.

Remember, you don’t need to explore every area of focus to better yourself professionally, however, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to a single one either. Start where you feel you have the most room for improvement and work your way back up to your strengths! 

Professional Development: Reprise

For every great music teacher, the success of their students is quite literally “music to their ears!”

However, becoming an ideal music educator demands several things. It goes beyond just being a great musician. There are many skills to learn and many music education and professional development roads to journey on. 

From deploying technology to teach music efficiently to simply learning how to make lessons more fun and engaging, building your own professional development plan as a music teacher is the best way to generate stronger teaching skills while boosting your chances of business success!

Want to take some more small steps towards professional development? Sign up for our newsletter via the box at the bottom of this page for even more tips, advice and Jackrabbit Class updates sent right to your inbox!

Share This Post!

Share This Post!

Schedule a Call or Demo

See Jackrabbit PayTM in Action

Fast and easy online scheduling

Choose one of the options below to be directed
to our online scheduler to select a day and time.

Just need some questions answered?
Contact us at any time.